The Surefire Way to Improve Online Reviews for Your Connected Product

Published by Tom Foster February 27, 2017

Every company strives to have raving fans who recommend their products to others. Raving fans drive online reviews, expand markets, and accelerate sales. Unfortunately, for many connected products the SoftAP Wi-Fi onboarding process undermines companies efforts to drive positive customer reviews. 

Is out-of-box experience really that big of a deal?

Unfortunately, yes.

However, connected product companies face a major customer satisfaction challenge. Consumers often find connected products difficult to use - largely because of the complexity and failures of the Soft AP WiFi onboarding process.  That difficulty manifests itself in the market in a number of ways.

For example, one of Cirrent’s connected product customers found that when a user runs into setup issues with a new product, the user’s Net Promoter Score drops by 80 points. After that, no matter how good the product is, the user’s perception never recovers from the initial hit.

Are Wi-Fi onboarding issues really that common?

Again, unfortunately, yes.

In a large study of IoT products, Accenture found that more than 83% of customers surveyed had difficulty with their connected products. 20% had trouble getting their products connected at all.

Unsatisfied customers talk about it.

Argus Insights looked at 276,000 customer reviews of connected products, and found that 39% of the negative reviews were caused by initial setup and connectivity issues. Those two were by far the two largest categories, with no other category even making it to the double-digits as a percent of the total reviews.

So, while the majority of customers may love a product, the data shows that a significant percentage will have difficulty with the initial experience (again, largely due to the Soft AP wifi onboarding). The results can be seen in the online reviews of most connected products: they commonly have a bimodal distribution of star ratings from customers.  A lot of customers will love a product, but a lot will also hate itmostly because of setup and connectivity issues. 

These negative reviews directly impact sales: customers read the bad reviews, and disproportionatly shy away from products that are not easy to use.  

The solution? Give customers a great experience!

After researching and finally taking the plunge to buy a new connected product, customers want their new, shiny device to work as soon as they take it out of the box. Until now, it’s been difficult for product companies to be able to give their customers this seamless experience, because the process of getting a device with no screen and no keyboard online has been complicated.  The Soft AP process is complex and leads to lots of problems, and these problems make a lot of people avoid connected products altogether. 

That all changed with the invention of ZipKey.

Enabled with a simple software solution, products with ZipKey technology detect a ZipKey hotspot within range (currently 67 million in the US and Western Europe, and growing fast) and connect right away.

If we look back at the study of customer reviews by Argus Insights, product companies could potentially eliminate 39% of their negative reviews—those triggered by initial setup and connectivity issues—by implementing ZipKey. 

And since product reviews have a direct impact on sales, ZipKey doesn’t only improve customer experience, it improves the bottom line.

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